Conference season is upon us! This fall is full of great opportunities to get away from our desks and check out the exciting things happening in our industry, learn about the latest trends and big ideas, and meet other industry professionals. This is part one of a two part series showcasing what our staff will be up to this fall. Check out part two here to see what the design/development team is up to. Here’s what Mike and Amelia are looking forward to.

Interactive Mechanics sponsoring and tabling at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting

Mike is Looking Forward to…

My favorite part about traveling for conferences is visiting the local museums. I have a long list of museums to attend while in Pittsburg and Austin: the Carnegie Museums, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol Museum, Austin Children’s Museum, Bullock Texas State History Museum, and Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum.

This year is MCN’s 50th anniversary, so it’s a big event. I’m looking forward to Bringing Our Values to Work with Monica Montgomery, Stepping Back to Leap Forward with David McKenzie and Sara Pasch, and the MCN50 Reception at the Warhol Museum – and the ignite reception is always fun

I’m excited to attend the evening events at AASLH, specifically the Keep History Weird reception at the Bullock Museum and Texas Beer, BBQ, and Boot-Scootin’. I bought a pair of cowboy boots in Texas when I was last in Houston, so I’m glad to finally have a legitimate excuse to wear them (at least for the beer and barbeque, not so much the dancing).

Amelia is Looking Forward to…

MuseumNext was one of my first museum conferences a few years ago, and I met some of my best museum friends there, so I’m mostly looking forward to catching up and meeting new amazing folks. Because of my role in our hiring process and in finding new projects, equity and inclusion are always go-to themes for me, so I’m particularly interested in “Stories for Fighting with Fascist AIs” with Aziz Isham and “Walking the Walk: Personal Activism in Professional Contexts” with Kate Livingston and Danielle Linzer. I’m also loving the people-centered focus of Seema Rao’s “Trust the Revolution.” And this will be my first time speaking at a museum conference!

On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve never been to MCN, so I’m excited for a brand new experience. I immediately signed up for The Future of Cultural Heritage: Science Fiction, Design Thinking, and Museums with Desi Gonzalez and Jessica Warchall. I’m a sci fi reader and occasional sci fi writer, so I’m giddy about the possibility of connecting my museums-life with my non-museums-life.

Museums Aren’t Neutral: Connecting Authentically in a New Political Era with Mara Kurlandsky and Andrew Mandinach is timely and necessary, and it looks like there’s a great balance of specific case studies with audience inquiry. Related, I am psyched for Advocacy through Empathy: Using Digital Technology to Inspire Action. Yes, I’m excited to see Mike talk and to share our work, but I’m also legitimately thrilled to learn from the other phenomenal institutions on this panel. This is the work we dream of doing and the impact we strive for with every project.

Conference Details

American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting
September 6 - 9 | Austin, TX
Mike will lead a workshop on Community Engagement through User Experience.

MuseumNext
October 2 - 4 | Portland, OR
Amelia will give a lightning talk on “Using Controversial Sites and Collections to Take a Stand on Contemporary Issues.”

Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Annual Meeting
October 19-21| Pittsburgh, PA
Mike will present “In the Public Classroom: Connecting Controversial Collections with Contemporary Issues at Penn Museum” with Kate Quinn and Stacey Mann.

Museum Computer Network Conference
November 7-10 | Pittsburgh, PA
Mike will lead a session on Advocacy through Empathy: Using Digital Technology to Inspire Action along with representatives from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and National Museum of African American History and Culture. Amelia will attend.